What Is the Story of The Grand Manner?
Set backstage at a Broadway theater, The Grand Manner is inspired by a real-life event in the life of playwright A.R. Gurney, who briefly met legendary theater star Katharine Cornell in 1948 after a performance of Antony and Cleopatra. The play expands the story to include Cornell’s director husband, Guthrie McClintic, and her personal assistant and “close friend” Gert Macy. Cornell, a dramatic actress in "the grand manner," is experiencing a crisis of confidence as she observes the theater world changing around her, with the emergence of grittier writers such as Tennessee Williams and method actors such as Marlon Brando. Besotted with all things theatrical, young Pete soaks in the atmosphere and forms a quick bond with the star based on their shared background as natives of Buffalo.
What Is The Grand Manner Like?
This charming 90-minute-long memory play is made extra special by the presence of Kate Burton as Katharine Cornell, three-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines as Guthrie McClintic, Tony nominee Bobby Steggert as young Pete and Brenda Wehle as Gert. A sumptuous drawing room set and period costumes take theatergoers back to Broadway’s Golden Age, and Gurney’s script provides both a fascinating introduction to one of the 20th century’s most important actresses and a sweet coming-of-age tale. All in all, The Grand Manner a refreshing summer treat for playgoers.
Is The Grand Manner Good for Kids?
Children will be bored by this backstage tale, but stagestruck teens will identify with the young hero, who longs for a life in the theater but isn’t sure how to break in.